Ceramic Metamaterial Solar Sails Could Enable 300 Kilometers per Second

Extreme metamaterial solar sails as proposed here have the potential to shift the paradigm of space exploration enabling numerous low cost and high-speed missions to be launched anytime and anywhere. Such sails could gain accelerations over 60AU/yr when coupled to low mass spacecraft and dive to extreme proximity to the sun (just 2-5 solar radii). This velocity is 20 times more than Voyager 1. This NIAC challenges the limits of materials, paving the way for the development of high endurance ultrathin film architectures that can handle extreme environments manifested by solar radiation and plasma in addition to providing spacecraft control. Our technology enables reaching Jupiter in 5 months, Neptune in 10, surpassing Voyager 1 in 2.5 years and getting to the solar gravity lens location in just 8.5 years.

Artur Davoyan has a NASA NIAC grant and presented at TVIW.

In 2018, Artur also co-wrote on the materials for laser pushed Starshot missions.